Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

 I'm thinking 19-22 " is the range I want to keep Picks for food when I decide to. I only catch a few over 22 and have only surpassed 25"once. A 27,1/4",4#12 oz.  in Sept 2016. With the ice fishing season upon me I want to eat another ice pickerel ,haven't done it in awhile.As I recall there are 5 fillets .The top  boneless fillet,two side bony fillets and two tail to top fin boneless fillets. I have made fish cakes out of the bony sides and pan fried the three other fillets .Any recipes out there?

  Fish through the ice taste great and the flesh is firmer than other times of the year.

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when we tip up fish for pike 24 and below get put back over 24 get eaten I filet them and the cut the wish bone out and then deep fry them.    Vermont has a 20 inch law on chain pickerel and northern pike.    My daughter caught a grass pickerel years ago about 8 inches long

How do you cook those Pike Howard,? Any suggestions on filleting them and getting the floating bones out.? I saw something about grabbing the fish skin side up instead of down to make it easier to rid the meat of floating ribs and cage . Ever see that ? 

I wish I could help - Ive never eaten pickerel. Caught a lot over the years but never eat em. Im interested - hope you get lots of answers

I ATE THIS GUY. Great cold water fight on 4# test.

Nice!
John
I've seen where you make fives sections.
2- back straps, above the Y (epipleural) bones and along the dorsal back
2 - bottom fillets, below the Y bones
1 - tail section beyond the end of the Y bones.

I did it last year. It was pretty fiddly work, but I succeeded.

The OTHER way I've seen is to filet normally, taking the small tips of the Y bones with the flesh.
Then cut the filet into French fry sized (1/2-3/4") strips and fry hot. This allows the oil to get to the small Y bone remnants and cook them into submission- softening them enough to eat without notice.

What I did was cut my fileleted pieces into these same fingers and marinate them in Buffalo Wing sauce. Then, they were rolled in Bisquick and deep fried.* A-1 Sauce works too.
Boneless? About as close as you can get, I guess... But a lot of handwork.


Ill post some pics of some deboning ideas in just a minute.
* PS the marinated Bisquick thing is Jimmy Carters favorite way to eat fish, or so he says

Great thanks for the ideas David!

I generally take 5 or so minutes time to pull out floating bones with a pliers .I've found if you pull straight, no flesh comes with it ,but if you pull wrong a little bit of meat will be attached to the bone .

We fished Deep Creek Lake last week and ran into a number of pickerel there and at other western Maryland Lakes as well, landing a dozen or so pickerel. Several were in that 20-inch range that would allow for the 5-piece fillet method with a backstrap, two flanks (minus 'Y' bones) and two long, triangular fillets from the sides from the dorsal fin to the tail. I struggled with the first couple, but got better and a properly filleted pickerel, or pike, should look something like the fish below, with 5 boneless fillets...

The secret to getting boneless fillets on the flanks (where the Y bones are) is to make starter cuts 1/4 inch deep just outside the ridge tips of the Y-bone edges where the back strap fillet was removed. It takes a little/lot of practice, but clean, white boneless fillets are possible with this method. All fillets are then skinned and I 'feel' with my fingers for any bones before they get cooked, cutting out stubborn bones with a knife. The photo above has 5 boneless fillets ready to go.

Thanks for this post Jim! Nice work on the Picks ,spinners huh !

Jim-Pickerel flesh  up here in NJ  looks pink like this photo of mine .The filets you posted look white ! These Bluegill and Pickerel chunks were beer battered  pan fried and eaten  a few years ago .

jealous now !!  look at all of  those really nice fillets !!  plus;; yo uguys living in the northern states;; have perch; pickeral; a lot of other fish; southern states dont have !! 

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